If you’re not already watching Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr’s documentary The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross on PBS, it’s time to start. The six-part series tells the story of African-Americans, from slavery to the first Black president.

Episode three (airing this Tuesday, November 5), examines the Black experience during the Civil War and the beginnings of Reconstruction. In this snippet, Robert Smalls—a captain on a ship used by the Confederate forces during the Civil War—stages a daring escape. He sailed the ship full of fellow crew members and their families to freedom. He delivered the ship to the Union forces and served with the Union before becoming a South Carolina Representative to Congress.

Catch the entirety of “Into the Fire,” episode three of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 8pm EST on PBS.